Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ebenezer

1 Samuel 7-12: Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.

And that is the source of the old place name on the New Troy Pike. First given to the oldest congregation and church in Northridge, the old Ebenezer Methodist Church. But later expanded to then entire crossroads area, and eventually the school district that was formed in the early 1920s.

The congreation formed up in the years after the War of 1812. The first church was a log and clapboard structure on what is now the northwest corner of the Dixe Drive/Frederick Pike intersection.

In 1860 a replacement church was built on the southwest corner of the intersection, and this church still stands today.

Here is the church when it was still a church, in the background with the belfry. In the foreground is the station for the Dayton & Troy interurban railroad. One can see the semaphore signal and the station name board.


Roughly the same scene today. The interurban tracks are gone and New Troy Pike is widened todays Dixie Highway. The old church still stands but is now a business.

Looking at the old Ebenezer Church from a different angle. One can see the tall windows that one would expect for the sanctuary.


The best source for Northridge history, "Life on the Ridge" (put together by Northridge HS students as a class project) says one of the early schools was located here, and is still standing. This might be it. Built in the 1880s to serve the farming community of this part of Harrison Township.


As we've seen in a prior post the New Troy Pike corridor was the site of early suburbanization due to the interurban. Apparently population grew enough to warrant a replacement for the old Ebenezer church of 1860. In 1919 the new church opened, and the congregation renamed itself the Victory Methodist Church. Apparently this was double meaning. Victory over sin and also victory in World War I, which had ended in the previous year.

The new building was this quasi-English gothic affair done up in random rubble stone.


And Victory Methodist is still there today, but in expanded form. A landmark on the Dixie strip from the early days of suburbia.

(on edit, some modern images of the church, showing the addition and some adjacent prewar housing)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Victory United methodist Church was used in the 1940's as the Kindergarten for the Northridge school system. The church at that time only had the basement completed and the sanctuary was built at a later date. The majority of the stone used for the sanctuary, came from the fields of Norm Brentlinger.